Welcome to the Course on Choice!
Learning about who you are and taking responsibility for what you can control– one’s choices and response to life––really is “an inside job.” This course will ask you to focus on yourself, minding your own business, rather than minding others’ and trying to fix the world external to you. The course on choice is to help you learn more about who you are in terms of choice for your wisdom and wellness!
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
— excerpted from The Serenity Prayer
If this is NOT your first course, feel free to skip the video below, although it’s a good reminder before diving into more Self-Study.
Why Choice? Why Now?
Because the Amazon delivery person showed up and I had to pause…please finish listening to the rationale for studying choice!
Introduction to the Course on Choice
If Holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning (2006), Viktor Frankl could choose to find compassion for his Nazi oppressors and remain responsible for his own attitude while living as a captive, then it’s highly likely that we, too, can choose wellness in the face of our struggles, no matter what they might be.
In the Choice Audit, you will be asked to Reflect and Write about choice.
In the choice audit you will attend to surveying the landscape of yourself in terms of choice. The goal is learn to know yourself and gain more insight by examining your choices and your choice processes. You can learn equally from failure to choose wisely, poor and maladaptive, unhealthy choices as well as from your healthy, adaptive choices and choice-making processes.
If you are paying attention to your choices, consciously and non-judgmentally, and you know what you are like from your previous self-awareness study (mind, body, emotional being), you will be more likely to make choices that are in sync with or in line with your values. Those choices are good for you.
You may notice that when you start to examine choice that your values can sometime be the cause of poor choices. If so, return to the What are Your Whys practice in the Challenge Course or return to the Course on Attention to revisit the Attention and Values practices.
In this practice your are learning about your nature to get a baseline on how you react and respond to your experiences. You will explore the difference and similarity between unconscious, habitual reactivity to experiences and conscious, mindful response.
You will consider your self in terms of survival instincts– the fight, flight, freeze responses as adaptive reactivity versus maladaptive reactivity that causes unnecessary suffering due to lack of balance. Rather than extreme over-reactivity or victim-mentality which causes unnecessary suffering, you can learn to practice mindful choice.
Again, this is about balance— too much and not enough, excess and dearth. But sometimes less IS more and so forth. Be opening to exploring where you are on the spectrum of reactivity and response!
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
— Viktor Frankl
Remember, this is self-study. It is not fixing everybody else or repairing the world. It’s the opposite of cancel culture. Hold yourself accountable, just for now, in this course on Choice. You’ve got enough mini-personalities and voices within nagging at you to feed them.
Pay more attention to what’s happening within instead of feeding the wolves out on the external landscape, although you will be asked to observe your external influences and how they nag at you to respond and impact your choice-making as well.
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
No one can steal your peace without your consent–but it takes practice and lots of trial and error! That’s why you are here! This practice is about Minding Your Own Business instead of others’. If you took the Self-Awareness Course, you know more about your emotions, urges, feelings, sensations, thinking habits and thought processes. You can revisit your self-knowledge gained in that course to observe your reactivity “buttons” and what triggers them in order to take responsibility for managing them rather than blaming others.
When you blame others, the focus of your attention goes to them, to the external rather than what’s happening within you. It’s not that people aren’t sometimes or often wrong or unjust etc…we all know people push buttons and it’s challenging; however, in this course activity we are working on YOU and YOUR part in the relationship (or role in the DRAMA!) by looking at how YOU respond and/or react when your buttons get pushed.
This practice is about observing how much you internalize the external, and realizing that you have a choice about boundaries. You are not a helpless victim of other people’s problems, feelings, interpretations and words. You have a choice about taking things personally. Perhaps in your observation of this phenomenon, you may also suddenly become more aware of how you might be projecting onto others too. It’s all okay. You are learning about what it means to be human!
This practice explores the questions:
How do I make the right choices for myself?
How can I trust that I know what is best, right, and good for ME?
Trusting yourself is based on knowing yourself, more honestly and in much more detail,
from paying attention, become more aware, and
with more courage and willingness to learn.
You don’t “DO YOU” in a vacuum. You are a social being, and that is a critically important and substantial part of how you are who you are–that is, in relationship to other people. So how do you make the right choices for yourself and for “the groups” of which you are a part? How do you make choices about which groups to belong to and which to leave? How to choose who to follow? And how does our individual wellness depend on the wellness and wholeness of the group?
Maybe one of the best choices you have made was to study yourself?
I hope so!
Please proceed to the next course on Learning!